November 4, 2019

relax mode to frustrated mode, losing when I don't even gamble

Ask me how fun it is to have this
baby gear litter my family room.
Backing up the bus a bit - once I agreed to babysit for Linda and her brother, I focused on scouring Facebook, Letgo, and Nextdoor for used baby goods to add to my collection.  Additional items would help me care for two infants at once. If mothers of twins could do this on the regular, so couple I, right?  

I added a bouncy seat, 2 exersaucers (I had one that could fold up but since that function failed of late my struggle to set it up was nothing short of frustrating and defeating. We literally kicked it to the curb), a bassinet, two baby monitors, bassinet sheets, and finally the day before her crazy message arrived canceling our agreement: an electric baby swing.  

I now own two of these.  Grrr.
Meanwhile a few people reached out to me to see if I had openings.  One lady asked me if I had openings the Friday before Labor Day. Timing!!! I apologized but I no longer had space for other kids. After an entire spring and summer spent applying, interviewing, and chatting with interested parents (many of them TOTALLY WEIRD) I was finally able to relax.  My in-home daycare was finally filled and I could chill out.  Or so I thought.
This is all rotated wrong, but on the upside
Mikey is a really good baby and so darn easy.
  His folks are delightful and very easy going/grateful
 that I am caring for him.  I just need
to clone them a few times.

After I hung up the phone with Jackie, I sat on my pool chair and wept. I called Coach who lives in fear of the sun. He had already gone home. He COULD NOT believe that these people would cancel on me the day before they were supposed to start.

I fled the pool and got home and texted this Jackie robot. I told her that I turned people away because my spots were full. I also informed her that I expected her to pay me two weeks pay and the cost of the additional baby gear that I bought. No response.
A great addition to any dining room.

I do not have her address. Or her last name, but I know what town she lives in. I know that she works downtown as a commercial architect and her husband works locally as an architect. I typically sit for teachers, but her mom is a teacher and she was going to care for the kids in the summer and over holidays. Moving forward I plan to collect a one month deposit for anyone who hires me.

My next move was to contact I hoped that they would cancel her membership. Ban her from using the site. Guess what is almost as hard as finding normal people to babysit for? Getting a live person to speak to me on The workers are outsources apparently, and I struggled to understand the thick accent of the woman who answered.

Long story short: she agreed to look into Jackie's membership. In the meantime, she decided that I needed a different kind of membership since I watch kids in MY home. She gave me 5 days and then erased my membership. I can open a new membership under 'family services'. Guess what? That kind of membership is not free. There would be a charge. Mini was like, 'Oh, that did not work out the way you hoped?' Lesson here: only work for teachers who are referred to you.

I recently downloaded Venmo. Jackie's contact showed up on there. Guess who sent her a request for the amount I expect her to pay me? This is not over.

Racking up financial losses lately seems to be my specialty.  I lost 10 grand last year (when Narcey melted down and quit my daycare) and when these people flaked out I lost over 11 grand.  I am back to having openings that I will most likely not fill.  Feeling underemployed, and incredibly frustrated.  

Trust me when I say that I do not gamble.  So why the sudden losses? Simple. People are ass holes. 


Beth Cotell said...

UGH!!! I hope you are able to collect through Venmo but I bet it won't happen. I like the idea of collecting up front for the first month. That would deter people who were trying to hedge their bets and sign up with several people to watch their kids. I hope you are able to find someone to fill your empty slots.

Ernie said...

After countless attempts to get her to pay thru Venmo for 2 weeks, I have basically given up hope. I would love to run into her one day in public so I can share with her what I think of her.

Meanwhile, the families I sit for are very pleased with my care. One family in particular is so incredibly gracious and constantly remind me how fortunate they feel to have found me. Their little nugget (with tons of hair - looks like a baby impersonating a toddler) is SO good and must be the smiley-est baby in the universe. He is very easy going and easy breezy. Grateful for that. In the meantime, I have started to consider other employment option for next year. Hard to rely on this gig.

I have no other leads as I care primarily for teacher's kids and the school year started already. It is a bummer.

Kari said...

See, this is why I stopped doing independent contract work of any kind. I used to clean homes, babysit, and the like and I could see shit like this happening to me too. PEOPLE SUCK. I am sorry you are going through this. So many people are selfish and don't see beyond their needs.

Ernie said...

Yes, many people suck. I do like to make cash but it is hard to work this way because people can change their plans and leave me hanging. Even if I charge a fee upfront, it isn't anywhere close to how much I would earn if I was able to secure the job for the year. The weird talking, monotone woman texted me that she would pay me for the two weeks like I requested. She hasn't and that was months ago. Class act.

Busy Bee Suz said...

What a damn bummer. I hate this for you-that's a lot of money. Yes, to getting deposits next time. I think in general MOST people are good, but there are lots of losers out there....I know this because of you and the rest of the internet. Just the baby gear alone-geesh!

Ernie said...

All along I thought my book was going to be about the unbelievable nonsense in the world of Irish dancing - but this babysitting for all types of people with all kinds of odd parenting behaviors is becoming an undeniably awesome topic for a book. People would NOT believe how people behave. I have one dad who WALKS into my house when he comes to pick up his kids. WHY, DEAR GOD, WHY CAN HE NOT KNOCK ON MY DOOR???

Ernie said...

This all went down Labor Day weekend, so I have had some time to 'recover' but not financially as I have been unable to fill the spots. It makes me skittish. I have 3 good families at the moment (good not great because of the dad who cannot knock on my door - see below, and a couple who have a truly impossible 1 year old who they refuse to seek medical answers for. He cannot eat solids yet - he gags, um - WHY?), but if I was to take on someone else I have to wonder if they will have idiosyncrasies as parents or people that will push me over the edge. Turns out, I am not terribly tolerant of people who are rude or don't know how to parent or do not follow simple rules, (I could go on). Damn it, book deal, fall in my lap so I can quit my not-so-lucrative (anymore) day job. I just told another mom who was organizing a holiday event for moms and daughters in Curly's group of friends that Curly and I were not going to participate. It was going to be $80 for the two of us. I cannot justify that, especially because it was a painting thing. Curly preferred the play we did last year that was more reasonable and more our 'thing.' I can paint, but I sure as Hell am not going to paint what they tell me to paint. I am not in kindergarten. I digress.